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Hyundai Elantra spawns sleek coupe

Boring Elantra. Bet you haven't heard that in a while. It's a phrase people stopped using after the latest four-door sedan hit the shelves last year, wrapped in some pretty stylish sheet metal.

Now this sportier design theme, which (for the record) Hyundai calls 'Fluidic Scuplture', has just lent itself to a two-door coupe version of the Elantra.

Two-door Elantra has a typical, wedge-like coupe silhouette and deeply sculpted surfaces.

Unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show today, the Elantra Coupe will go head-to-head with the two-door Kia Cerato and Honda Civic on the US market. Sadly, they're only making 'em with steering wheels on the left so no chance of seeing it in South Africa any time soon.

Despite bearing a very strong resemblance to the Elantra sedan at either end, the Coupe's front and rear sections have a slightly different design - it's 'smiley face' lower air intake in the front bumper and boot lid spoiler being the biggest points of distinction.

Of course, a view from the side reveals a typical, wedge-like coupe silhouette and deeply sculpted surfaces.

There's only one engine for now and that comes in the form of Hyundai's naturally aspirated 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol mill that puts out 110kW and 178Nm. Sure, that's nothing new or exciting for the enthusiasts among us, but we'd be very surprised if Hyundai didn't launch a performance model at some stage.

The obvious poison for that would be Hyundai's new 1.6-litre direct injection turbopetrol engine that powers the flagship Veloster and which is good for 152kW and 265Nm.

The Coupe's chassis largely mirrors that of the sedan with a conventional McPherson strut set-up at the front and a torsion beam design at the back. That said, engineers have recalibrated the steering knuckle design, torsion beam rigidity and damping to make it feel a bit sportier than the four-door.

The company also avoided changing too much in the cabin, except the seats (heated on all models) have bigger side bolsters. Fancier versions also pack goodies like touch-screen navigation and a high-resolution seven-inch infotainment screen.

Anyone starting a petition for a right-hand drive version?

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